Collin County Politics: It’s Time to VOTE!

April 26, 2022

Picture of Democrats at work: Earth Day Clean-Up Project by the McKinney Area Democrats.

Covid Update: Collin County has 213,702 confirmed Covid cases. That’s 813 more cases than I reported last week and 1,504 of our Collin residents have died (NO increase!!). This is very good news!

As we move away from the active portion of the pandemic, other issues are brewing. In the mental health arena, my colleagues and I are seeing a surge of people experiencing depression and burnout. So many people are struggling with this that I actually wondered if there was something in the water. But no, there isn’t. Instead, this is an expected aspect of a pandemic. I liken it to the experience of getting a cold after the stress of an academic semester has ended. Your body allows itself to relax and experience all the stuff you’ve put on hold until you can process it. So, if you’re feeling depressed or a general malaise, you’re not alone.

Another issue we should consider is how we deal with the grief over what happened. Over a million Americans have died from the pandemic. Almost everyone knows at least one person who’s gone as a result of Covid yet there doesn’t seem to be a large public acknowledgment of what and who we’ve lost. Close to 3,000 people died in the 9/11 attacks and there’s been numerous memorials, documentaries, and media articles about them. Covid has taken over a million and there’s no major memorial or place where families, friends, and loved ones can go to mourn. That needs to change.

Commissioner’s Court: Duncan Webb attended the hour-long meeting by video (he didn’t look well and left early) specifically because most of the meeting involved the 380 Bypass situation. He’s heavily invested in the Court doing something. Webb rightfully pointed out that, if we do nothing, gridlock will be terrible. As I mentioned in a previous column, McKinney and Prosper are at each other’s throats on this issue and this played out in the meeting.

ManeGait, a therapeutic horse facility that has programs helping people with disabilities and veterans, showed up to oppose Option B because it would have a significant negative impact on their operation. Several Prosper residents also spoke out against Option B because it would negatively affect several schools and housing developments. Prosper City Council has passed 7 resolutions opposing it. They’re complaining that they shouldn’t have to suffer from the city of McKinney’s failure to plan for growth 10-15 years ago.

I agree wholeheartedly that community leaders need to take the long view and plan for things rather than offer short-term solutions. That’s not a city problem though; that’s a Republican problem. If people truly want visionary leadership, then they need to stop voting for Republicans.

For its part, the McKinney City Council recently passed a resolution supporting Option B. They think Option A (the only other option TXDOT is considering) would severely impact the environment, local businesses, and neighborhoods, including Stonebridge Ranch (which is filled to the brim with upper-income people). Interestingly, not a single person showed up to speak on behalf of Option B. Perhaps they knew they didn’t need to. The second I heard Option A might negatively impact Stonebridge Ranch was the moment I knew it wouldn’t happen. Disturb the rich folks? Not in Collin County!

Sure enough, Susan Fletcher offered a resolution approving option B with amendments that cover additions from option A and option C (which isn’t currently on the table). The motion passed 3-2 with Webb and Cheryl Williams voting no. I’m uncertain (because the motion was confusing) but it sure seems like they passed a resolution trying to appease everyone without regard for what TXDOT deems feasible. In other words, they made their decision irrelevant. Shocking. It would’ve been nice to hear why Webb and Williams voted no but that would’ve been transparent and they certainly can’t start that precedent. Although his silence was appreciated, it was weird how quiet Chris Hill was during the whole thing.

ManeGait seems like an amazing and much-needed facility. I don’t have an opinion on the bypass option but it would be a crying shame if ManeGait had to shut down as a result of this mess. The severity of the loss of this facility only serves to highlight just how few services there are for veterans and people with disabilities in our area.

Allen City Council: Sue and Jeff Kacines (Sue is a long-time Democratic activist and former precinct chair) are refusing to allow far right-wingnuts to further take over local government. They started the Allen Undivided PAC to compete with the We the People Allen PAC. Those living in Allen should check it out. I also recommend voting for Ben Trahan and Chris Schulmeister for City Council.

Allen School Board: Other Allen activists are focusing on putting people on the school board who will be responsive to the needs of all students. I strongly urge voting for Christina Cabral, Joe Boylan, and Snober Lakhani.

Frisco School Board: These races have gotten ugly, showing how desperately we need to put reasonable people on the board. I recommend voting for Kelly Karthik, Dustin Paschal, and Gopal Ponangi.

McKinney School Board: Trustee Chad Green (heretofore known as Big Hathole) and County Commissioner Darrell Hale held the $10 per person workshop where they threatened to teach people “hacks” for how people can skirt the time limits at school board meetings. True to form, they didn’t deliver on their promised outcome, probably because it was a bogus undertaking in the first place designed to raise money for themselves. Time limits for public meetings hinge on the governing body’s definition of “reasonable” time limits and they can absolutely impose time limits on public comment on non-agenda items.

However, Big Hathole and Hale did let everyone know their strategy. Their big plans are to make the school board refuse to put the library books issue on the agenda, then sue them over it. I’m not sure how well that’s going to work since we pleaded with them to put a mask mandate on the agenda and they refused to do that without repercussion. The wingnuts also plan on bombarding the meetings with people vying for public comment spots. The speakers will get cut off after a minute, making the time limit “unreasonable” and they’ll sue the board over that. Again, that seems like it’s well within the board’s purview to do when they have numerous speakers. Are the unpaid board members supposed to sit there for hours listening to idiots spew their nonsense? No. They should save that for Republican meetings since they seem to like that stuff.

The main takeaway is that they’re coming for the trustees. Expect Amy Dankel, Lynn Sperry, and Stephanie O’Dell to face far-right challengers next year.

The good news is that reasonable people aren’t taking this lying down. Former educator Angie Bado and other public school proponents in McKinney (including Mayor George Fuller) just formed the Public Schools First McKinney PAC with the stated goal of supporting public schools. The PAC plans to endorse candidates and support “pro-public school” legislation. If you want to join in this essential mission, please follow their Facebook page to see what you can do.

Murphy City Council: I encourage voting for Elizabeth Abraham and Jene Butler (a fellow healthcare professional).

Richardson School Board: I urge those in Richardson to vote for Rachel McGowan and Vanessa Pacheco. If you live in Dallas College District 1, my suggestion is Dr. Catalina Garcia.

Let each person do his or her part. If one citizen is unwilling to participate, all of us are going to suffer. For the American dream, though it is shared by all of us, is realized in each one of us.

Barbara C. Jordan

Local Politics: Early voting for municipal elections starts on April 25th and goes through May 3rd with Election Day on May 7th. YOU MUST VOTE! Go here to check out the constitutional amendments, see what races there are in your area, and figure out where you can vote. I’m voting no on both constitutional amendments because they’re clumsy attempts by Greg Abbott to defund public schools.

In other news, Beto has been hammering Abbott on property tax hikes. This definitely impacts us locally as well. In Collin County, property values increased on average between 28% and 30%. More than 97% of residential properties saw increases in market value of 10% or more. Even the chief appraiser was amazed: “It is the largest increase year over year that I have ever seen in Collin County.” Tell everyone who will listen that we have Republican leadership to thank for this since they’re the ones in charge.

If we want to save our democracy, each and every one of us must step up and do more. Consider running for office. If you want to become more active in your community, please sign up to join the team covering your city council or school board. Everyone is welcome. Also, please start sending me pictures of Democrats in action. Let’s show our community who we are and what we do! For any of your local politics needs, contact me at and let me know you’re interested.

Comments 5

  1. Misty, I’m a bit put out by your characterization of the 380 bypass disagreement as being between poor little Prosper and rich Stonebridge Ranch.
    I read yesterday that the median household income in Prosper is now $147,000. (More or less—I’m sure it depends on the source.) Of course you can’t look up the same stat for Stonebridge Ranch itself, but looking at ZIP Codes, it appears that the median household income on the west side of McKinney is under $110,000. For McKinney as a whole, it’s “only“ around $93,000.
    Anytime you don’t plan way ahead and you’re trying to put a big highway through a populated area, there will be strident cries of NIMBY. I suspect that a lot of the residents in some of those expensive looking, mushrooming Prosper developments don’t really care much about Mane Gait; it just sounds good.
    That said, Prosper seems to be the loudest and most intense on this matter, so probably they deserve to win..
    From a driver’s perspective, I just hope the ramps will start west of Custer. But it’s going to be years before this even gets started—let alone finished. There’s a good possibility that I’ll be dead and gone by then, and that’s not an exaggeration.

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      I’m well aware there are prosperous Prosper neighborhoods but Stonebridge Ranch is incredibly well off. I live in SBR, so I can tell you that houses here are very, very expensive. TXDOT probably won’t care as much but in a regional battle, I suspect SBR has the edge. As I said, I hope ManeGait can keep operating and I agree wholeheartedly that city and regional leaders need to plan ahead but Republicans just don’t have it in them. That’s why we need to elect Democrats. The 380 bypass is a problem but there are other issues I care about way more.

  2. Great article- thank you! Couple things to add. The two constitutional amendments are reducing property tax just a small amount. To me the hyper increased appraisals is a money grab by the state. Remember that the increased funds collected won’t stay in our respective school districts, it will go to recapture. Recapture moneys go to the texas general fund, not to poorer school districts necessarily. Think about that money funding stupid stuff like Paxton suing president Biden, or the political stunt of Abbott putting our military at our border. We just might be defunding that.

    Second, Allen city council got a visit from the Borat styled Alex Stein this week. I wish I could have been there to see the councils faces. He told them he had bought an oculus 69 and had been sexually assaulted in the metaverse. He kept calling the council people by name- and asking if they had bought one yet and if this had happened to them. all while wearing a Biden hat. They gave him his 3 minutes and tried not to react. Alex’s partner in crime went next and did a lackluster trump impression. It occurs to me why he uses these public meetings for his comedic shenanigans. It’s because these meeting videos are professionally produced and will be kept and publicly available in perpetuity. He can link to them in his resume and submit them as auditions. He’s trolling city leaders to a wide audience, and for those in city leadership, a captive audience. Now I know he is minimizing real sexual assault and that’s wrong. But it was just a little bit fun to watch the 3 biggest village idiots have to sit through that and be asked if they had read in the manual of this sex simulation appliance, the oculus 69, or if the Wendy’s hamburger girl avatar had attacked them too. Considering one has a prostitution conviction or two, not that hard to believe he’d have one if it was available..

    Speaking of elected people with convictions, Former allen city councilman republican Gary Caplinger is in our county jail. He pled guilty to two charges of child pornography , one with intent to distribute. Second and third degree felonies- so Atleast he can’t run again. My read of the sentence is 5 years incarceration plus probation from the two charges. One article I read says 10 years incarceration plus probation, but that is not my understanding from the court records. I would like to hear the real answer from an attorney. I think 5 years is a very light sentence, and he could get out earlier. Reading the details in the allen american article, he did not seem remorseful, was himself a police officer in the past, was in a position of authority being on council for nearly 12 years, a boy scout leader and had been doing this illegal activity for a long long time. He got a light sentence from a republican judge- ironic since the raking over the coals of Ketanji Brown Jackson for this very thing, and ironic because republican book banning crowd is shouting groomer and pedo at families protesting for book freedoms. They scream this at moms and kids while one of their own is a disgusting actual perpetrator. That’s our community right now.

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      Thanks for all the updates on Allen. I wish more people would let me know what’s going on there. I refuse to write about the Stein character because I don’t want to give him any publicity. He was in Richardson a month ago with a Ukrainian officer skit. Not amusing. And yes, Republicans are incredibly hypocritical with their “grooming” nonsense when THEY are the ones hurting kids.

  3. Lots of good recommendations here. Thank you! And thanks for the picture of the McKinney Democrats. We are working hard to be a valued member of the community, and we really want everyone to join us. Go here to become part of our efforts to change our community, our county, and our state:

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